Real Madrid get set for PSG by hammering Real Sociedad

MADRID: Real Madrid enjoyed the perfect preparation for Paris Saint-Germain by thrashing Real Sociedad 4-1 on Saturday to move eight points clear at the top of La Liga.

Madrid had to come from behind at the Santiago Bernabeu as two scintillating long-range strikes from Eduardo Camavinga and Luka Modric turned the game on its head, before a Karim Benzema penalty and a tap-in for Marco Asensio completed an emphatic victory.

Camavinga’s strike, his second goal for Madrid, was timely given the 19-year-old may have to start against PSG on Wednesday, with Toni Kroos, absent here, struggling with a hamstring strain.

“Camavinga is definitely an option,” said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Madrid are tasked with overturning a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Paris if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

At the end of the game and with the stadium mostly empty, Madrid’s players came back out onto the pitch to salute the ultras behind the goal.

“The thanks to the fans was an idea that came from the players,” said Ancelotti. “After this game, they believe more in what we can do on Wednesday.”

Everything seems easier with the 36-year-old Modric, whose own wonder-goal was the highlight of another mesmeric display, for which he earned a standing ovation from the home crowd in the second half.

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar will provide a sterner test for Madrid’s back four in midweek but this was a particularly encouraging performance from Ancelotti’s attack, which was far more dynamic after struggling for goals in recent weeks.

Benzema looks sharp again after recovering from his own hamstring injury last month. Benzema has three goals in his last three games and had two disallowed against Real before finally scoring from the spot.

The victory extends Madrid’s advantage at the top of La Liga after second-placed Sevilla were held to a goalless draw by Alaves on Friday night.

Real Sociedad could have gone third with a win but they stay sixth, with qualification for the Europa League looking more realistic now than the Champions League.

Real Madrid started sloppily and paid for it after David Silva’s touch and the shift was too quick for Dani Carvajal, who caught the midfielder’s trailing right foot.

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